Wednesday, January 15, 2014

mantel of envy.

Remember when I mentioned when building a new house some upgrades are worth it and others are not. Well the builder offered for some ridiculous amount of money a mantel or what I called a floating shelf to be installed. From the get go I knew there was no point paying money for something we would take down, I wanted a true mantel something that was a focal point. Basically anything but a random floating shelf above the fireplace.

So after moving and staring at a naked fireplace for a few months in October I decided we had to have a mantel before the holidays. Flash forward to November, and be still mentioning constantly, how I would love to hang our christmas stockings on a mantel the project finally began.

Thanks to pinterest for inspiration and a few tutorials (here and here) I had been saving for awhile I was pretty confident the hubs could tackle the project.

The first plan of attack was laying it all out, after I showed Matt a few of my inspiration photos he came back and presented me with a quick mock up. 

After a few measurements and discussions about height, width of the side pieces framing the fireplace  and depth, my dad who was happy to lend a hand mocked up the wall with painters tape to ensure the proportions were just right. 

Framing in progress

After framing out the structure using 2x4's and 1x6's primed pine board to build the sides, they used a 1x12 primed pine board for the main cross piece and a 1x8 board for the mantel top. Once the foundation was built, on came the molding. 

The molding was layered on to add depth. It is hard to see int the picture below but we used 1x1 primed pine to frame out the box details.

The picture below shows better the 1x1's and the layered molding. We also added a piece of molding to the mantel ledge to finish it off.

Don't mind the nail holes or gaps, that was all filled in with caulk prior to priming for a seamless look.

The whole project took a weekend to build and then a few more hours to caulk, prime, sand and apply two coats of paint.

I am still working on styling our new mantel, but this is currently how it looks. I know I will be tweaking it weekly until it is just right but I couldn't be happier how it turned out.

Side note our walls are more of an off white than the yellow tones coming through in the pictures. (Thank you builder paint, we plan on repainting the whole house eventually.)

We still need to finish off the quarter round (see above) on the bottom but I would call this project a wrap! Since finishing the mantel we have been busy tackling the laundry room (check it out next week) and our master bedroom.

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